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Offbeat News

Don't pimp my ride: Afghanistan retires '39' number plates

Kabul - Afghan traffic authorities are retiring licence plates containing the number "39" because the figure has long been associated with pimping and prostitution.

Swan Late: mourning bird holds up German trains

Berlin - A swan mourning the death of its companion on a German railway track held up 23 trains for almost an hour and had to be removed by firefighters using special equipment, police said.

GoDaddy apologises for fake Christmas bonus email security test

Washington - US web company GoDaddy apologized Thursday after an email that promised employees a Christmas bonus in the midst of the economic crisis turned out to be a computer security test."GoDaddy takes the security of our platform extremely seriously.

US parents in bizarre 'balloon boy' hoax granted pardon

Los Angeles - Two Colorado parents jailed for falsely claiming their six-year-old son Falcon had floated away in a homemade balloon shaped like a flying saucer have been granted pardons by the western US state's governor.

Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching Covid rules on jet-ski odyssey

London - A lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.

Grassed up: hapless drug suspect's phone reveals stash to cops

London - A suspected drug dealer stopped by British police caught a lucky break when they found nothing in his car -- until he pulled out his phone to access a translation app and inadvertently showed officers a video of his cannabis farm.

2020: What a funny old year it was...

Paris - The coronavirus has not given us much to laugh about in 2020. Yet the year still had its fair share of the weird and the wonderful.

Day football dyed: Chinese match off because 'hair not black enough'

Shanghai - A women's university football match in China descended into farce and was eventually called off after players were told that they were not allowed to have dyed hair, state media said Tuesday.

'Don't leave trash in the desert': Utah monolith removal explained

Los Angeles - The mystery of how a metal monolith appeared in the Utah desert remains, but the riddle of its removal seems to have been solved -- and sadly, has nothing to do with aliens.

Mystery over metal monolith found on Romanian hilltop

Bucharest - A metal monolith which mysteriously appeared on a hilltop in northern Romania has sparked curiosity -- and mockery -- online, coming just days after a similar object was found in the Utah desert.

Mysterious monolith in US desert reportedly disappears

Los Angeles - A mysterious metal monolith found in the remote desert of the western United States, sparking a national guessing game over how it got there, has apparently disappeared, officials said.

Fugging hell: Tired of mockery, Austrian village changes name

Vienna - Residents of an Austrian village will ring in the new year under a new name -- Fugging -- after ridicule of their signposts, especially on social media, became too much to bear.

New Zealand vows crackdown on defecating backpackers

Wellington - The New Zealand government promised Wednesday to take action against backpackers relieving themselves at natural beauty spots as part of post-coronavirus tourism plans.

Private protection: Croatian codpiece is hit with tourists

Plitvicka Jezera - Once used to warm men's private parts during harsh winters in rural Croatia, the woollen codpiece or 'nakurnjak' is making a comeback as a popular souvenir, thanks to a handful of women preserving traditional handicrafts from oblivion.

Pigeon sells for record 1.6 mn euros to Chinese fancier

Apo - An unidentified Chinese buyer on Sunday paid a world record 1.6 million euros ($1.9 million) for a female homing pigeon called New Kim, online auctioneers Pigeon Paradise (PIPA) said.The sale beat the 1.

Bethlehem 'Corona Sandwich' eases bite of tourism loss

Bethlehem - When the coronavirus pandemic left Bethlehem without its hordes of visitors, tour guide Raed Bannura needed a new source of income.

Trolls get creative after WHO censors Taiwan

Taipei - Alleged censorship of Taiwan on the World Health Organization's Facebook page inspired some creative trolling Thursday, with special characters and foreign scripts used to bypass filters that also censored Winnie the Pooh, a character used to poke fun ...

Star Wars toys discovered in bin bags net £400,000 for UK couple

London - A British couple have thanked their lucky stars after a garage full of bin bags they inherited from a dead neighbour yielded a trove of Star Wars toys worth £400,000 ($525,000).

What a tail: whale sculpture saves runaway Dutch train

Spijkenisse - A runaway Dutch metro train was saved from disaster on Monday after it smashed through a stop barrier but then came to rest on a giant sculpture of a whale's tail.

Bad Romance: Lady Gaga in Twitter feud with Trump campaign

Washington - Music superstar Lady Gaga got into an unlikely Twitter feud Sunday with President Donald Trump's reelection campaign after they accused her of being anti-fracking.

Indian doctor duped into buying 'Aladdin's lamp' after genie show

New Delhi - Two men who allegedly duped a doctor into buying an "Aladdin's lamp" for $93,000 -- and even conjured up a fake genie -- have been arrested in India, an official said Sunday.

With morbid humour, Viennese look death in the eye

Vienna - Even in midst of a deadly pandemic, the Viennese seek to look death straight in the eye -- an attitude on display at a morbidly humourous museum devoted to death and burial.

No bull: India claims cow dung chip protects against radiation

New Delhi - An Indian government unit established to develop soaps and medicinal products from cow dung has branched out with a "chip" it claims can protect people from cellphone radiation.

Stolen $300m Mao scroll found 'cut in half': Hong Kong police

Fpo - A stolen poetry scroll written by Mao Zedong and valued at hundreds of millions of dollars has been recovered, Hong Kong police said Wednesday -- but not before it was cut in half.

Argentina lawmaker kisses partner's breast during videoconference

Buenos Aires - An Argentine lawmaker was suspended Thursday after kissing his partner's breasts during a parliamentary session being held by videoconference, a scene that quickly went viral on social media.

Man 'asleep' in speeding self-driving car charged in Canada

Ottawa - A driver who allegedly set his car to autopilot and then took a nap as it broke the speed limit on a rural Canadian highway has been charged with dangerous driving, police said.

I can see loo: Tokyo park gets transparent toilets

Apo - Spacious, clean, and almost completely see-through, an unusual new public toilet block has been built in a Tokyo park -- but thankfully, the walls turn opaque when you lock the door.

World's oldest captive alligator marks 83 years in Belgrade zoo

Belgrade - Muja has lived through multiple bombing campaigns and several countries -- all while never leaving a tiny pool in Belgrade's zoo for 83 years, making him the world's oldest captive alligator.

US to ease water rules after Trump's shower moan

Washington - The US government is looking at easing regulations on shower fittings following complaints from President Donald Trump who has regularly railed against water conservation rules in his quest for "perfect hair.

Canadian brewer apologizes for naming beer 'pubic hair' in Maori

Montr - A Canadian brewery has apologized for naming one of its beers after the Maori term for "pubic hair", and not "feather" as it had intended, CBC reported.
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